This week, since we’re all in the midst of sewing up a storm for the #SewPantyParty, I thought I’d throw out some of my favourite tips for sewing up undies, and specifically tips I use to make my undies look and feel the most RTW. So let’s jump in!
I think this tip seems the most obvious, but I also think it’s the most important. You can have the exact same pattern make it up in one fabric and love it, and then make it up in a different fabric and completely hate it. What I like to do is look at the underwear in my drawer that I already love. What is the fabric like? How stretchy is it? How soft is it? What kind of elastics did they use?
And it’s different for different styles of panties too- for example- I love a great, soft, super stretchy bamboo fabric for a boyshort or bikini- it’s so comfy and body clinging- but I’m not as big of a fan if I’m making a thong- it stretches out a little too much in the crotch length and you have to make sure that your gusset lining is a little more stable.
Next is elastics. I find that the majority of underwear uses a softer style of elastic, or even stretch lace as elastic, but it does vary from style to style. If you want a cheekier style- definitely go with something softer like a lace elastic so it won’t cut into you. But if you want something really hugging to hold the panty under the cheek- you might need something with a little more snap! It all depends on your style and preferences!
This one again might seem obvious, but it’s very important! I find that there’s nothing that feels less RTW than a loose seam allowances in your underwear. There are lots of ways that you can finish your seams too! If you’re using a serger like I usually do- it’s a super simple one step process and all your interior seams are overlocked. If you’re not using a serger, I find that for short seams – like the side seams on a bikini- a straight stitch with row of top stitching is great. If it’s a longer seam like the centre back seam- you can always finish it with a zig-zag stitch, or even topstitch it to the side with a zig-zag stitch. Whatever works best for the fabric you’re using and the machines that you have!
This is another nice RTW technique. When you’re making your gusset or ‘crotch lining’ you can make all of your seams enclosed – so all of your seam allowances are between the lining and the outer fabric.
I find that there are three types of gussets in underwear- ones that are completely enclosed front and back, ones that are half enclosed (usually at the back), and then ones that are not enclosed at all (usually on a boyshort style)- and it will really depend on the type of undies you make. For a fully enclosed gusset- you will need a style of panty where you can cut the outer layer of your gusset as a separate piece from the front and back of your panty – usually a brief, and then when you sew it- you can sandwich the back and front pieces in between the layers of your gusset, so that all the seams are enclosed. Or if you have a solid front piece that extends all the way back to the back piece, then you can enclose the back of the gusset, and finish the top edge of your gusset with a serge or zig-zag stitch.
This style of finishing is nice and smooth and looks great on the inside of the panty.- If this was unclear at all, let me know, I can do a tutorial on this 🙂
Another simple one. I find that when I’m making a bra I will spend as long as it takes to get the perfect mirror, but when I go to make the panties it’s a little more ‘how fast can I make these’. But, when it comes to having that gorgeous high-end look- it really makes a huge difference. And I find for myself it’s not even that it’s a glaringly bad look when lace is not mirrored – it looks ‘fine’ – but when it matches – it’s just glorious 🙂
When your panties match your bra it instantly elevates both. But you might find, like me, that it can be a bit challenging to make a matching set when you almost exclusively use non-stretch materials for your bras. But there is a solution to this- and my favourite solution is to add a centre front panel with your non-stretch fabric. Generally speaking, panties don’t need to stretch very much right at the centre front (especially in a briefs style). It’s really around the sides, and in the back where your body does most of the moving and shaking. The front stays pretty static at all times. So it’s the perfect place to add a couple seam lines, and pop in a centre front panel with your matching bra fabric! I did this for my Chartreuse & Black Set, for my Emerald Set and on my Lily of the Valley.
Simple bow, extra straps, keyhole & cut outs, garter straps, lace, binding, jewels. Whatever your style there are so many things that you can do to add that little extra! For me, I like to keep it fairly simple, and pick one thing to add- maybe it’s a strap detail, or maybe some bows. It’s also nice to have a couple pair of panties per bra, and some of them might be just simple all-black, and then others can have more embellishments -think your Monday pair and your Friday pair ;). My favourite place to look for inspiration is my lingerie board on Pinterest- so many amazing ideas!
And those are my top tips for making your panties look & feel RTW!
What are your top tips for making panties?
Were there any tips you wanted me to expand on or do a tutorial on?
How do you like to embellish your undies?
Talk to me in the comments!!